Aug 292017
 

Oh, Fudge! (A Candy-coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (August 29, 2017) – TODAY
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701640
Kindle ASIN: B01MYVZULE

 

 

Life is always sweet in Allie McMurphy’s delectable fudge shop. But murder can make things unpleasantly sticky . . .

A DEADLY CONFECTION
 
After Allie inherited her family’s McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, cousin Tori moved off to California in a bitter huff, and the two haven’t spoken since. So to have her cousin reappear on Mackinac Island without warning is a big surprise—but not as surprising as finding her standing over a dead woman impaled with a garden spade in the Mackinac Butterfly House. Butterflies may be free, but Tori won’t be for much longer—unless the cousins can bury the hatchet and work together to catch a killer who’s taken flight. Because when it comes to family, blood is thicker than fudge . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have never been to Mackinac Island, it is a place on my travel bucket list. As soon as I finished this book I Googled Mackinac Island Butterfly House. It sounds like a delightful place to visit and a perfect place for a fictional murder. That’s were Allie finds her cousin Tori with her hand on a garden spade stuck into the chest of a woman. Allie has not seen Tori in years and was not expecting her to come to the island. Tori was not happy when Allie inherited the McMurphy but Allie knows she isn’t a killer. It will take more than fudge to bring these girls together but they are going to have to put their feud aside and work together to find the real killer or Tori will be saying more than “Oh Fudge!”

Each and every character in this story just shines. From the staff at McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop to those at Gossip Central, I mean the Senior Center, they all have a part to play in clearing Tori’s name and catching the real killer. At the same time plans are underway for Frances and  Mr. Devaney’s wedding. Allie’s romance has hit a rough patch but it may be time to shake things up a bit.

There is always something happening and the main plots and subplots are blended so nicely. The author’s descriptive writing style takes us right into the action. Over the course of this series I have the island so clearly pictured in my mind, if I do ever get there for a visit it will be strange for these characters not to be there. 🙂 There were a couple of timeline issues in my advance copy but I am sure they were cleared up in the published story.

The other thing the author describes well is how the fudge is made and she has included recipes in the book too. My problem is that I want fudge and lots of it while reading the story so I need to plan ahead much better by sneaking a peek at the recipes first or stock up on fudge from a closer outlet.

Nancy Coco has created wonderful characters encased in a puzzling mystery all set in a perfect place to escape. A yummy story all the way around.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy Coco/Nancy J. Parra and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy J. Parra

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!  

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End September 12 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 052017
 


Wrong Side of the Paw
(A Bookmobile Cat Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 25, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476562
Kindle ASIN: B01N8OIZDF

As Laurie Cass continues the national bestselling Bookmobile Cat mystery series, librarian Minnie Hamilton is happy to take her bookmobile for a spin with her rescue cat, Eddie—but her tenacious tabby always seems to find trouble…

As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.

Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there’s more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

About The Author

Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She and her husband live on a lake in northwest lower Michigan. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Find out more on her webpage here and sign up for her Newsletter.

Written as Laura Allen

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 122017
 


I love it when Peg Cochran drops by for a visit!

The Mysteries of the Writing Process
By Peg Cochran

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Readers have expressed an interest in the “writing process.” Each writer’s process is probably as unique as his or her fingerprints, but this is mine.

For my mystery series, I already have some characters in place—protagonist, detective and other regular cast members. But what I need is a victim and a murderer! I start with the victim—the person can seem like the last person anyone would want to murder or they can be very unlikeable. But whichever way I go, I need to surround them with characters who have specific reasons for wanting them dead.

To come up with the victim, motive and suspects, I usually “think out loud” on paper. On the computer—writing longhand always ends up making my shoulder hurt because I tend to grip the pen too tightly! Always have.

I write down all my thoughts just as they occur to me—no censoring my thoughts or backspacing to erase them. Here is an example from my notes—some plot musings that never made it into the book…or at least not that book!

He’s receiving stolen goods—saffron or caviar or something. Why would he be a victim? Maybe this isn’t the real reason he’s killed. Just another red herring. Maybe the goods are meant to be passed to someone else and he double crosses them. He’s a partner with somebody. Or someone paid him to move the goods and he steals them instead. Has to be someone local.

It’s probably hard to believe, but those ramblings eventually coalesce into a plot!

I try to outline…I want to outline…but often I am so excited to get started on the story that I don’t. I don’t sail off blindly though, I have to have my “plot points” – what happens at the end of the first act, at the midpoint (big dramatic happening that changes everything), end of second act, black moment (all is lost!) and the ending.

At some point, I end up with a completed book! And it seems like a miracle each time!

~Peg

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death is available now.





Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 


Sowed to Death (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (July 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282038
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OR6W

 

 

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You just can’t go wrong with a book by Peg Cochran. I have read almost all of them and doing my best to catch up on those I have missed.

In Sowed to Death  farmer/blogger Shelby McDonald is getting ready for the county fair. She is entering her jams and jellies and her son is participating in the an horse riding event. Both are hoping to come home with blue ribbons. The firemen are also demonstrating the Jaws of Life, something I am very familiar with as it was that device the extracted me from my van after my accident.  Their demonstration takes a foul turn when it is discovered that there is a real body in the car, not the dummy the firefighters had placed there. The body turns out to be Zeke Barnstable. Because Shelby’s neighbor, Jake, is a fireman and he and Zeke had a disagreement the police decide he is the prime suspect. Shelby knows she is going to dig up every suspect she can to prove her friend’s innocence even if that puts her in the line of fire.

This was a delightful read. These characters are people I would be friends with in real life. Shelby is a single mom raising 2 children but she has help from her deceased husband’s brother and several other friends, including fireman Jake. Two men that what to be as close to Shelby as possible but understand she is still getting over her husband’s death. I also love that she is a blogger and the way the author includes her posts right along with the story allowing Shelby to communicate directly with us, her “readers”.

The story really flows well and Shelby’s children, Billy and Amelia, play crucial roles in the mystery. One makes a dreadful discovery and one is danger as the story climaxes. As a mom, I would have totally freaked out and Shelby does but she turns into one hell of a fighter.

I enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. She is very descriptive making the story easy to visualize without going to far. She lets her characters continue to evolve naturally and realistically.  The mystery is filled plenty of twists and has not only drama/action but humor and a bit of romance too. Everything I love about cozy mysteries is found within these pages. A Must Read!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End July 26, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 062017
 

Cold Hearted River: A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Mystery
6th in Series
Setting Montana/Wyoming/Michigan
Viking (July 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525429609
Kindle ASIN: B01N3L0Z8U

 

 

When a woman goes missing in a spring snowstorm and is found dead in a bear’s den, Sheriff Martha Ettinger reunites with her once-again lover Sean Stranahan to investigate. In a pannier of the dead woman’s horse, they find a wallet of old trout flies, the leather engraved with the initials EH. Only a few days before, Patrick Willoughby, the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, had been approached by a man selling fishing gear that he claimed once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. A coincidence? Sean doesn’t think so, and he soon finds himself on the trail of a stolen trunk rumored to contain not only the famous writer’s valuable fly fishing gear but priceless pages of unpublished work.

The investigation will take Sean through extraordinary chapters in Hemingway’s life. Inspired by a true story, Cold Hearted River is a thrilling adventure, moving from Montana to Michigan, where a woman grapples with the secrets in her heart, to a cabin in Wyoming under the Froze To Death Plateau, and finally to the ruins in Havana, where an old man struggles to complete his life’s mission one true sentence at a time.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again the author draws on history for the theme of this story.  Apparently Ernest Hemingway was quite the fisherman and had a trunk of tackle go missing when traveling West. When a wallet of fishing flies with EH engraved on it is found near a suspicious death and the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club is contacted about fishing gear said to belong to Hemingway Sean seems to think the events are connected. He is then hired to track down the items rumored to belong to the author. This takes him not only around the Montana/Wyoming area but all the way to Michigan and beyond. All to find the truth.

I love these characters, they are very believable and have become like dear friends. Sean and Martha have found their way back to each other which doesn’t make his former girlfriend very happy. I think the relationship may continue to be in flux as they are both very independent people, with Martha being very opinionated and strong willed while Sean seems to go with the flow.  I love their dialogue with each other. I am anxious to see their story pan out.

The book starts with a heart-wrenching telling of 2 people trapped in a storm that brings a search party out. I was captivated immediately.  I really enjoyed this story and the way Mr. McCafferty weaves Hemingway’s history right into this current day story. It takes many twists and turns as each new clue is uncovered. I do love the way this author writes, his laid back style, he is a very descriptive writer. This time I felt we were covering the same places more than once with the same details so it dragged just a little bit for me in places but enough to ever stop reading. I was totally taken by surprise at the ending. Hook, Line, and Sinker, put me in the net. The last twist, priceless. I was right there with Martha as Sean told her what happened.

A mystery, some history, drama, and romance makes this an enjoyable escape.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.


Now Available

 

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End JULY 20, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 312017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Meg Macy here today for a visit!!

 

Escape with Meg Macy and Her Teddy Bears

 

One would think Meg Macy has loved teddy bears since childhood. Not so! She slept with Jerry the Mouse (of Tom and Jerry) every night. Her love of teddy bears was born as an adult, when Meg visited England. On a visit to Harrods’s, she picked up a Paddington Bear toy and read the tag – “Please look after this bear”. Paddy looked ready for a new adventure to the States, so she tucked him into her suitcase. From there, the bears began to multiply (like rabbits) until she had a houseful. While Meg’s daughter had fun playing with all the bears (and bunnies), she now serves as a beta reader for Mom’s ‘Shamelessly Adorable’ Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington.

Meg and her daughter often escape every year on a trip around Michigan. (Meg’s husband often tags along, too, depending on his schedule.) Mackinac Island is a favorite for overnight stays at various bed-and-breakfasts – check out the Haan and Metevier Inn websites. Meg and her family love walking along Main Street or renting bikes to ride around the island. The downtown souvenir shops are always fun, as are visiting the Butterfly House, seeing the Grand Hotel, watching the ferries come and go. Meg will even take a day trip to the island if they can’t spend the night. And she’s often found adorable teddy bears, artwork, and teacups in boutiques there for her collections.

Other favorite spots to escape are Ann Arbor’s Tea Haus, Sweet Afton’s tea room in Plymouth, Saugatuck’s Ida Red’s (for breakfast) and Pumpernickel’s (for lunch) plus the art galleries and unique shops. Meg loves Point Betsie and other lighthouse along the Lake Michigan coastline. All of these places serve as inspiration for her writing. She loves studying maps when she can’t escape the house.

For Silver Hollow, the setting of her new series, Meg took bits of one small town and blended in a few others in Southeastern Michigan. Pinterest is another escape – she loves to trawl for new photos to pin to her ‘Rare Teddy Bears’ board, along with what the Silver Bear Shop & Factory interior might look like.

Details, details – for Meg, that’s what makes any book fun to read!

One more escape – springtime means the Malice Domestic author and reader convention. Meg enjoys the author panels, meeting readers, and sharing stories about writing with other authors. Meg is also one-half of the D.E. Ireland team (along with Sharon Farrow) writing the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries, and they have been thrilled to be a finalist (twice!) in the Best Historical category.

Meg is thrilled to see how readers enjoy Bearly Departed and will be hosting a book launch event at her local library on June 6th, plus signing books around the area through the summer. She also plans on attending Bouchercon in Toronto later this year – yet another escape, and out of the country to Canada! She recently found a maple leaf bear when visiting Agawa Canyon. And one day, Meg plans to return to England for a Palace Guard teddy bear to keep Paddy company back home in Michigan.

After all, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.” (Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington) The more, the merrier!

~Meg

Thank you Meg for stopping by today! 


Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709639
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQI7I

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things at The Silver Bear Shop and Factory are not “beary” delightful. After the sales manager Will Taylor announces manufacturing of the teddies will be moving overseas the staff is in uproar. Especially Sasha, Maddie and their Uncle Ross. The girl’s parents started this business and have basically retired and have left the shop and factory in their hands. Their parents/brother never would do something so major without talking to them first.

Before they can even contact their father Sasha and Maddie find Will’s dead body next to the stuffing machine. To make matters worse the police have pegged Uncle Ross as the prime suspect. Seems his threats to Will were taken seriously by some people. The factory and store are shut down, the upcoming teddy bear parade may have to be cancelled, her uncle may soon be behind bars and her parents are not returning their calls. Sasha just can’t bear any more drama so she starts investigating on her own not realizing she may be the next “bearly departed”.

This was a fabulous read.

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory sounds like such a fun place. I know there is a national chain that allows you to stuff you own teddies and other creatures but The Silver Bear Shops sells a very unique bear. Also Maddie and Sasha make a great team, creative to think of all sorts of events to coordinate with the seasons and holidays drawing visitors to Silver Hollow.

Macy has created a charming cast of characters. Sasha is divorced but her ex has moved back to Silver Hollow bringing a bit of added drama. She is a very determined woman and very loyal to her family and their business. Maddie takes care of the office work, paying bills, working with vendors, and the financial reports. She also has a very creative side. Uncle Ross runs the factory and can be a little prickly but like his brother, the girl’s father, he is a real teddy bear behind all the bluster. Their mother is a little tougher and ready for life to slow down. We also meet their employees and other shopkeepers like Will’s wife. Being the first book in the series the author has left plenty of room for the characters grown in future installments.

The author has written a tale with a number of twists. The clue that seemed to be missed by the police was one I grabbed onto and was pleasantly surprised that I was right about its relevance.  I was still surprised by the way the story played out.

Meg Macy has penned a wonderful debut for this series. It checks all my boxes for an absolutely perfect escape. I can “bearly” wait for my next visit to Silver Hollow. Bear Witness to Murder will be released in 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy – Teddy Bear Cozy Mysteries      Meg Macy on Twitter


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 172017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Peg Cochran back to Escape With Dollycas!

The Origins of Cranberry Cove
(Post provided by publicist)

Cranberry Cove is a small fictional town in western Michigan located right on the shores of Lake Michigan where the influence of the Dutch settlers is still strong to this day. By 1900, one third of the Dutch in America had settled in West Michigan.

The Dutch were known for their frugality, industry and hospitality. Many were farmers and today many of the area’s family farms still bear Dutch surnames. Others were skilled craftsman , carvers and furniture designers who came to work in the furniture industry that at the time was booming in West Michigan.

Many of the characters I’ve created for Cranberry Cove are of Dutch origin—the VanVelsen sisters who own Gumdrops, the candy store; Bart Dykema the butcher and Phyllis Bouma, the local librarian.

Gumdrops carries many Dutch treats including Droste pastilles, Van Melle fruit toffees and Katjes winegums and the Van Velsen sisters always have a pot of erwtensoep—Dutch pea soup—on the stove. Ollie bollen—fried doughnuts—are a huge treat and are the precursor of the doughnuts we eat today.

There are a small handful of cranberry farms in Michigan. Most of the nation’s cranberries come from Wisconsin with Massachusetts and New Jersey not far behind, while the rest come from Oregon and Washington.

Cranberry harvesting is a fascinating process. I hope you will come visit Cranberry Cove and find out all about it!

~Peg

Thank you Peg for visiting today! 

Dead and Berried (A Cranberry Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01KUDKNBM

 

 

It’s June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson’s plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms.  When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much.  With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.

INCLUDES CRANBERRY RECIPES 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the bees in this berry of a mystery.

Time to pollinate the blossoms at the Sassamanash Farm so Jeff calls in Rick Taylor, his assistant Lori Wenk and their bees to do the job. Unfortunately Lori gets stung and has a deadly reaction, or did she? She is dead but it looks more like murder than a bee swarm. All eyes turn to their owner Rick, but why would he want his assistant dead? Monica quickly finds the woman had her share of enemies and she knows she needs to clear Rick and the farm’s reputation. But is she going to end up getting stung?

I was excited to see a character named Lori, but that is where our similarities end 🙂 She didn’t deserve to be killed but she sure wasn’t the nicest person.

Monica Albertson is a unique amateur sleuth. She doesn’t work behind Detective Stevens’ back, she assists and turns over any evidence she finds quickly. The work the case together as much as they can.

All the characters in this series are engaging. I still identify strongly with Monica’s brother Jeff. We share a disability of having one arm that is basically useless. When I see his independence and how hard he works it really gives me hope. While my right leg is also useless I still want to try harder to do more things. Jeff is quite an inspiration. They are surrounded by a wonderful cast. This time we get to know Nora, the beekeeper’s wife and the main clerk at the the farm’s store better. The Albertson’s also have a new neighbor and the women in town, including Jeff’s mom are all vying for his attention.

The mystery weaves its way through Monica’s life as she strives to keep up with her baking and relish making all while trying to find out who could have killed Lori. We also learn more about cranberries, bees, and ships buried in Lake Michigan. As a resident of neighboring Wisconsin I found the shipwrecks very interesting.

I was amazed that when Monica eliminated almost all the suspects and the one I was leaning toward was actually the killer. That rarely happens.

Peg Cochran’s descriptive voice draws me right in to the happenings in and around Cranberry Cove. I really feel like I have traveled there instead of just read about this town. It’s like a mini Michigan vacation every time I read one of these books. I may have to make an actual trip to the state and check things out. Until then, I will anxiously await the book in this series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death will be out July 4, 2017.

Find all of Peg’s books on Amazon here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Contest Will End May 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Apr 142017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I Spotlighted this book back in February.
It finally reached the top of my To-Be-Read stack.

Up North Murder: Up North Michigan Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Michigan
CT Communications (October 2, 2016)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998212203
Kindle ASIN: B01LY1XJ42

 
 
 
 
 

A phone call can change your life forever…

Abigail Williams gets that phone call. Gordon Dorsey, Abby’s uncle and last living relative has drowned in the lake on his property, and Abby is his sole heir.

There are a few complications, however.

Abby’s inheritance is a trout farm in Michigan, but she’s a city girl from Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Abby doesn’t believe the official story of her uncle’s death.

And the biggest complication… the four-legged furry owner of the farm who seems to have her own ideas about how things should be run.

Culture shock is the least of her worries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Williams leaves Arizona for Upper Michigan after she receives word that her uncle, Gordon Dorsey, has passed away. She doesn’t get many details, just that her last living relative has drowned. A terrible accident. They had mainly remained in contact by cards and letters and she knows he retired to a farm but she didn’t realize it was a TROUT FARM complete with a young caretaker and a very special canine. Not long after she arrives she starts to think her uncle’s death may not have been an accident. Now she just has to prove it!

I was drawn in by Abigail Williams immediately. She jumped right into her inheritance with both feet, willing to learn everything she could about the farm and the business her uncle had created. Her uncle left her the place not just because she was his only surviving relative but because he believed she was a country girl at heart. Could he be right? Could she be happy in a place with spotty cell service, no Starbucks, miles to a store of any kind? She had time to figure that out but first she needs to know if her uncle really was murdered and who would have killed him. I enjoyed the way she did her investigation. She jumped right into that as well.

The author does an excellent job of setting the scene. It was super easy to picture the lake, the house, the barn, and the land in my mind. I was traipsing right along with Abigail for every step. I learned a bit about trout farming too.

The story was very well written, the characters well drawn and authentic. The dialogue was genuine. The story had a slow build as Abby came up with several suspects and motives. As she worked to eliminate them the pace picked up. While the actual killer was one of my top suspects the climatic ending was surprising and scary.

I am so excited to know this is going to be a series. I just wish the next story was already available because the ending of this book had me rushing to Amazon to see if it was available. I would have purchased it right away.

This is a great start for this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground” is Taylor’s first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. “Breaking Free,” a sequel to “Gone to Ground” is currently in the works.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs and birds.


I am giving away 1 e-copy that will be gifted from Amazon!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Feb 042017
 
On Wednesday Cheryl Thomas visited to tell us about her books and I reviewed Stone’s Gems and Murder. Today I want to shine the Spotlight on another of her books. One I hope to read and review very soon. 

Up North Murder: Up North Michigan Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Michigan
CT Communications (October 2, 2016)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998212203
Kindle ASIN: B01LY1XJ42

A phone call can change your life forever…

Abigail Williams gets that phone call. Gordon Dorsey, Abby’s uncle and last living relative has drowned in the lake on his property, and Abby is his sole heir.

There are a few complications, however.

Abby’s inheritance is a trout farm in Michigan, but she’s a city girl from Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Abby doesn’t believe the official story of her uncle’s death.

And the biggest complication… the four-legged furry owner of the farm who seems to have her own ideas about how things should be run.

Culture shock is the least of her worries.

 About The Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground” is Taylor’s first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. “Breaking Free,” a sequel to “Gone to Ground” is currently in the works.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs and birds.


Thanks to the author I have 1 signed copy of the book
along with a special gift.

Pictures were taken by the author.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old with a a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 122017
 

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery
by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310136
Kindle ASIN: B01IRS85CG

 

 

Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, have been receiving strange midnight visits. Bear Falls’s own elusive and highly secretive poet, Emily Sutton, has lived her life cloistered away with her sister in a house at the edge of Pewee Swamp. But now, Emily’s started leaving scraps of poetry in Dora’s Little Library, and Dora makes it her mission to befriend the sheltered woman.

Meanwhile Zoe Zola, almost famous author, Little Person, and the Weston’s quirky next-door neighbor, is hard at work on a new book, this one about the inner life of Emily Dickinson. And once again, Zoe’s literary work starts making uncanny connections with the events in her own world as Emily Sutton reemerges into society. But Zoe begins to suspect things aren’t anywhere near normal at Emily’s swamp house or in the lives of the people she claims have abandoned her…until looking further into the poet’s half-truths leads Zoe and Jenny to a horrible murder.

The chaos surrounding the ensuing investigation grows even more hectic with Emily’s increasingly erratic behavior, the arrival of a young woman searching for her missing poet uncle, and yet another betrayal in Jenny’s love life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Like the first book in the series, Murder Most Curious, this mystery was curious. A reclusive poet, Emily Sutton has left her home in the Pewee Swamp to visit Dora’s Little Library and left some of her new poetry. Meanwhile another town resident is planning an event to honor the poet and is thrilled to learn that Emily wants to attend and do a reading. Dora with the help of Zoe and Jenny is determined to help the poet get out in the world again but Zoe has a bad feeling about her. She starts to do a little investigating and she and Jenny make a horrific discovery.

I really like the relationship between Jenny and her mom and love the way they have included Zoe in their little family group. Zoe doesn’t always make that easy. They were also very accepting of Emily and even welcome another visitor into their home midway through the story. They seem to be genuine individuals with the ability to truly empathize with others around them.

A twisted tangle of events take place in the story. This author has a real unique imagination that turned this story upside down. I was drawn deeper and and deeper into the mystery as I swiped each page. Such great writing, a complex mystery that brings a real psychological element to what otherwise is considered a cozy mystery. There are some very suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

I can’t wait for the next installment. Watch this author, I expect many fantastic stories are headed our way.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I received this book for review from NetGalley and I am sorry I do not have a copy to giveaway.

About The Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (aka Elizabeth Lee) is a Michigan based novelist whose 12th book is due out in 2016. She teaches fiction writing at Northern Michigan College and has written for the NORTHERN EXPRESS, the ROMEO OBSERVER, the DETROIT NEWS, and the RECORD-EAGLE. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, International Association of crime Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers’ of America, Michigan Writers, and Detroit Working Writers and has three mystery series out, or about to be published.

In the Emily Kincaid series her novel DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was chosen one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. A new series (written as Elizabeth Lee) is now out with the third: NUTS AND BURIED (based in Texas)  released in November from Berkley Publishers. Another series, beginning with A MOST CURIOUS MURDER, (Crooked Lane Publishers) and now SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH.


Written as Elizabeth Lee

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Nov 152016
 
the-chocolate-bunny-brouhaha
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Berkley (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473820
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQEU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Falcon Fraud comes an Easter candy caper featuring chocolatiers Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie, and a killer who’s hopping mad…

The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee  and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.

However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is…

Includes tasty chocolate trivia! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the BUNNIES! TenHuis Chocolade is getting ready for Easter with plenty of bunnies on order. The also have a Bunny on the staff, Bunny Birdsong. She seems to be an accident looking for a place to happen, but she does have her talents and Lee finally finds out what those are. Both are surprised when her ex’s aunt shows up at the shop, soon followed by the ex himself with his new girlfriend. A little drama in the sales area that Lee quickly tries to handle. When the aunt becomes the latest murder victim in Warner Pier it isn’t good for “anybunny”. Disruption in the shop has everyone on edge and Bunny on the top of the suspect list means Lee has a basket full of trouble. She is hopping into the investigation to find the real killer so everyone can get back to making all those tasty holiday chocolates we all love.

This is a perfect “EGGSCAPE”. My senses skipped right over Christmas to spring and Easter the minute I started reading. The expansion of TenHuis Chocolade continues with just a little pause for the police to collect their evidence. Lee and her Aunt Nettie are doing their best to keep all the workers and employees focused on their jobs while they and Police Chief Hogan focus on the murder.

JoAnna Carl’s stories never disappoint. I jump right in and they brighten my day. I love the characters, I love the setting and I love the chocolate! Don’t let the number of pages in this book fool you. It is a fantastic cozy mystery that will have you laughing out loud and then on the edge of your seat. So well written and plotted precisely, it has an excellent flow. Family, romance, humor, mystery, everything in the right proportions. Ms. Carl tells a top-notch story. I also enjoy the trivia she includes throughout the book.

Think this series is too far along to jump into, it’s not. The author gives you enough detail without revealing or spoiling anything from previous books in the series. Try one and you are going to want to read them all. You just may want to have some chocolate in the house because this book will have you craving a truffle or 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thank to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 29, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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